Nevermind Watchdown: S28E02, or We Don’t Believe in Time

Yep, Rhod’s got me hooked. Onto another Buzzcocks, this one featuring the immortal, kooky, animal-impersonating pea-brain Stacey Solomon, new-by-2014 standards pop-star Ella Eyre, Harry Koisser from indie-rock-ish band Peace, and Part-time lion and fan of Anal Danger, SEANN WALSH. Nicely balanced panel for ya.

Rhod, to Harry: “I’ve heard that you’ve got this party trick where you play a guitar ’round the back of your head.”
Harry: “I mean, they say the worst thing to do at a party is to pull an acoustic guitar out-”
Rhod, pulling an acoustic guitar out: “YEAH, ‘S TERRIBLE!”

Rhod tries one-upping him by playing invisible bongos…which Ella immediately says looks wrong. Noel goes over to play them.
Ella: “Where is this going?”
Noel: “Where ISN’T it going?”

This week’s new first-round is ‘It Wasn’t Me’…featuring a Rhod-assisted version of the famed Shaggy track, which gets Phill laughing.

After Seann basically says he can’t imagine Noel eating anything.
Noel: “Two things I can’t stand are food and time.”

Noel, to Harry:”Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever weed…”
Harry: “I’m not gonna say who, but a member of my band-”
Rhod, reading the anecdote card: “Hang on…it was Doug.”

Harry eventually reveals that Doug pissed on him when he was in the shower.
Harry: :Yeah, I was on the phone, in the shower.”
Seann: “HOLD ON-”
Noel: “There’s so much wrong with this story…”

Rhod has Seann put on a bald cap, as he’s confusing him with Ella on both hairstyles.
Stacey, to Seann: “SHAKESPEARE! That’s who you look like!”

Harry keeps talking about how he doesn’t have a house, or go shopping, or anything.
Harry, later: ‘Look, later on I’m gonna go back home and just-”
Rhod: “SO YOU DO HAVE ONE!”

Rhod: “AT THE END OF THAT ROUND…[plays invisible bongos]”

Stacey prefaces Phill and Ella’s intros by saying ‘I’m so sorry, guys, I’m terrible at this…I never get it, my ear doesn’t hear it…”
Noel: “I like how you blamed your ear.”

Stacey just looks absolutely bewildered and confused as Phill and Ella do ‘Waterloo Sunset’.
Rhod: “Can I just interrupt this? Stacey, do you know what’s happening?”

Stacey: “At first I was looking at Phill, then I was looking at the other team, seeing if they knew it, so I was trying to read their lips.”
Rhod: “THAT…is a bold strategy.”
Stacey: “…I’m short-sighted, so it didn’t work very well…”
The panel takes a moment to recover.
Rhod: “so LET ME GET THIS STRAIGHT. Your EARS don’t work, AND you’re short sighted.”
Stacey: “No, I’m a mute!”
Rhod: “Why don’t you just stand up and feel the two of them for vibrations?”
Stacey: “Will I get sued?”
Rhod: “…depends where you feel them…”

Rhod: “I’ll give you a clue! It’s big and red and always hangs out by the river?”
Stacey: “…IT? You know, that clown, who’s always in the drains?”
Noel’s entire panel loses it. None of them can believe this. Phill has to stop, bend over and compose himself.
Stacey, walking off: “I hate you all.”
Rhod: “OH, IT, THE FILM. Let’s see if you’re right, is it IT, BY STEPHEN KING.”

Stacey: “Well, that was a really bad clue, then.”
Rhod: “It wasn’t a really bad clue, it was a really bad answer!”

Noel says he even had a full IT dress picked out for this episode, but Stacey keeps getting hung up by the whole ‘man in a dress’ thing. Noel has to stop and reiterate several times.
Noel: “What I’m saying is-”
Stacey: “YOU ARE IT!”

Sure enough, during the ‘here’s how it should have sounded’, Noel runs out and throws on his clown dress, and gets a nice applause coming back in with it.

Of course, the very next intro…Stacey gets it in 10 seconds. Our House, by Madness. And everyone’s FLOORED.

Of course, after the applause dies down, Noel throws in: “now, you know whose house it wasn’t?” And points to Harry.

Ella says that Noel looks like a stay at home wife.
Seann: “No, he looks like a stay-at-home wife in the Nightmare Before Christmas…”

Seann doesn’t exactly bring back Anal Danger, but he does guess, for Harry and Noel’s second intro, “Is it ‘Don’t Forget to Lock Me’, by the Backdoors?”

On Phill’s ID Parade:
Seann: “Phill, I know I’m on the other team, but I can help you out. It’s not #4, because i went to SCHOOL WITH HIM…”

This is another one where Phill obviously knows that it’s #2, but the other ones are still a few steps behind, and still on #4 being Seann’s friend.
Phill, eventually: “IT’S NUMBER TWO, DO YOU NOT RECOGNIZE HIM??? I DIDN’T GO TO SCHOOL WITH HIM, BUT IT’S #2!”

#2 is given the ‘will he please step forward’…and for 10 seconds, he doesn’t. Rhod eventually has to go over and threaten to push him for him to actually step forward.

Rhod’s spruced up the ID Parade by giving the correct one a wireless mic, so he can ask what they’ve been doing. In Stedman’s case, since he used to be a bricklayer, Rhod goes over and asks what work needs to be done on his house, and Stedman, playing along but honest, gives him a blunt dissertation.

The East 17 ID Parade is done, in the style of their video, on a rotating circular track, all five done up in snow-parkas. Rhod has to wait for #3 to come around to do his intro, ‘TED BUNDY’.

Rhod: “#2’s really got it in for lazy susans. Wait for him to ‘come round- LOOK AT THAT MISERABLE PRICK!”
Noel: “If they got off that now, would they all fall over?”

After #4, Jon, is revealed.
Rhod: “Jon, what ‘you up to?”
Jon: “…spinning ’round?”

Jon mentions he’s been doing roofing.
Rhod, coming back up with his phone ‘WELL LISTEN…’

Rhod gets on the track to talk to Jon about the roof, and the lazy susan starts up again, making it even funnier, and interlaying the disgruntled other three in there as Rhod and Jon talk in the background.

Rhod plays out the round by playing the invisible bongos.
Rhod: “I know what you’re thinking- can I do it one-handed?”
VO: …..
Rhod: “…no.”

Rhod, to Noel’s team: “Your time starts now-”
Seann, harkening back to Noel’s earlier conversation: “We don’t believe in time…”

Rhod: “In the summertime, when the weather is hot.”
Noel: “…you can sleep outside, or live in a drain…”

Overall: SMASHING SUCCESS. It helped that the panel was on, but there were a number of great runners, like Harry’s houselessness, Stacey’s inability to get intros, Noel’s clown dress, the concept of time, Seann’s friend from school, and Rhod’s contracting. Seann probably had the best day off everyone, but literally everyone had nice moments. Stacey was a great sport, Ella and Harry had great lines, and Rhod improved on an already-great E1.

Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Seann
Best Runner: Rhod’s invisible bongos.

Nevermind Watchdown: S28E01, or ‘OOOH, I FEEL LIKE SINGING!’

Well…I’ve waited long enough…time to start the LAST EVER SERIES OF NEVERMIND THE BUZZCOCKS.

The good news is that they got the bright idea to add Rhod Gilbert as the permanent, full-time host. Rhod’s episodes were wonderful, as he let his trademark dour-with-a-sunny-side mood infiltrate the show, and it led to some really nice moments. Here, he’s got a whole series to play with, and I’m very excited to see what it looks like.

Well…about 15 seconds in, I’m already won over. In a cold open (man, haven’t seen one of those since S25), Rhod is filmed waking up, and walking to the studio, set to Hall and Oates’ ‘You Make My Dreams Come True’…and with the addition of animated birds, a flash mob, a jazz band, and well-timed fountains, it’s a complete send-up of the scene in 500 Days of Summer, which I have even more props for the crew for sending up. It’s fantastic, and shows exactly who Rhod is…culminating with Rhod pummeling an intern for getting his coffee wrong.

Even better, this episode marks a return for rap battler and Cluedo character Professor Green, sports presenter Gabby Logan, and a debut for two people I have heard of- comedian and BFF of Katherine Ryan, Roisin Conaty, and LEAD SINGER OF HUGE GLAM-POP BAND THE 1975, MATTY HEALY!

Rhod introduces a new round, called Rumor Has It…whose audio-intro-clip is just Rhod’s voice interspersed into Adele’s ‘Rumor Has it’. Which is quite the sound, as Prof just doubles over laughing.
Phill: “WATCH OUT, PROFESSOR GREEN! HERE COMES THE COMPETITION!”

Rhod explains this round is about celebrity rumors, including “Was Cee-Lo Green the first man on the moon?”, and “Is Rhianna a Horse?”. Even he can’t get through that one without laughing.

(This also reminds me how great it is to hear the word ‘rumor’ in Rhod’s accent. Not since his MTW ‘is it, RUMOR, Flooding has begun?’)

On James Blunt, a turkey, a coffin and a microphone.
Phill: “James Blunt moved to Norfolk, and started East Anglier’s first…necrophiliac turkey karaoke night!”

Rhod says that Blunt was #4 on a list of most annoying things, and asks what else he was more annoying than.
Prof: “Stubbing your toe?”
Rhod: “STABBING YOUR TOE? You’re the real deal, man…”
(Prof laughs for about 15 seconds at this. Hell, I don’t think he laughed this hard the whole Frankie Boyle show…)

Rhod, during the intro-clip for Van Halen: “In Welsh, their name means Salt Van, but what…”
The amount of cracking up THIS FAR IN proves we’ve hit upon a great dynamic here.

Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 4.41.45 PM.pngRoisin: “Did he chop a man’s legs off with a guitar, put him in a tent…and that man said ‘NO MORE OF THAT!'”

Noel: “Was that tent getting a new pair of shoes?”
Phill: “Those are SHOES? I thought it was a rabbit taking a bad selfie…”

Matty: “Mick Jagger liked to get blowjobs when he was in the recording studio…”
Noel: “Wow, you won’t be supporting THEM again, will you?”
Matty, in character: “NO! IT WAS A NIGHTMARE!”

Matty: “I didn’t even get to talk to Mick or anything-”
Noel: “PRETEND YOU DID!”
Matty, changing immediately: “So Mick comes over to me, and he’s like ‘LOVE THE BAND’…”
Noel, as Jagger: “But I REALLY like to get a blow when I’m doing vocals, so if you could just…”
He even bends Matty’s head towards his crotch.

Noel: “This is the rudest show I’ve ever been on…[to Rhod] YOU’RE a pervert!”
Rhod: “Sorry, mate…”
Prof: “His name is ‘Rod’…”

Matt ends up leading the whole panel in the Potato Lattice game, which is a quick fire back and forth, having everyone say names of foods without hesitating. Rhod is eliminated quickly, which he protests.

Rhod: “GUYS, GUYS! This has TOTALLY backfired. I thought this was gonna be a shit game, and you’re all loving it!”

Phill and Prof’s first intro is just a long, repetitive, alarming-sounding one, with Prof constantly doing a singular-toned ‘AAAAAAH’ every few seconds.
Gabby: “Is that the whole thing?”
Phill: “No, he’s just very good at that bit.”

An exhausted Prof slumps down onto the desk, near Phill’s crotch.
Phill, quick as hell: ‘OOOH, I FEEL LIKE SINGING!”

Gabby: “Is it Prodigy?”
Phill: “OOOOHHHH No…”
Rhod: “I’ll pass it over.”
Noel: “NAAN BREAD! Oh, wait, that’s a different game…”
Rhod, Simon-esque: “YOU’RE WRONG.”
Noel: “What’dyou mean, we didn’t even say anything!”

Phill: [Guitar riff from ‘Should I stay or Should I Go]
Prof: “…bip..bip..bip”
Phill, to Prof: “….really?”

Rhod’s standup jokes, rather than being scathing put-downs, are just fun little puns, which sums up his era of the show quite nicely.

Noel and Matty’s intro is reminiscent of a Sean Hughes round- Roisin gets it from Matty’s bit, and not from Noel’s more-accurate guitar riff. He just slumps over as Matty hugs him and fives Roisin.

Noel and Matty’s quibbling continues on the Galvanize intro, which Noel can’t quite get the main synth bit from. They eventually get it, but not without more arguing.

Rhod: “The video for Papa Don’t Preach marked the unveiling of Madonna’s 2nd look: short, cropped platinum hair, and a more muscular physique. For anyone who’s counting, she’s now on her 37th look: Unconvincing Malawian Ice Cream Man with net.”
And THERE’S THE SCATHING BUZZCOCKS WRITERS AGAIN!

Rhod has a nice little put-down of Gabby’s blogs, and while it does take away from the quiz, Gabby’s enjoying it, and Rhod’s still in his element as host.

Rhod, still on the blogs: “Can you tell me a bit more about the green drink?”
Gabby: “…NO, YOU TWAT!”

Rhod, doing ID Parade Intros: “IS IT…”
Screen Shot 2017-06-25 at 6.03.43 PM.png
Rhod: “…have I got to say something funny about him?…WHAT’S IN HIS ARMS? Okay, it’s not #1…”

He even gives #3 a copy of the book of Gabby’s blogs, and he’s reading them as they do the ID Parade intros. Gabby’s semi-amused.

Matty, still on #1 arms: “He’s gotta have legs like shrubs.”
Noel: “What’s ‘shrubs’ in Welsh?”
Rhod: “…we don’t have shrubs.”

Other thing I’ve noticed about this series is that there are a ton of sweeping camera shots of the set, wider shots, less static. I understand they’re trying to blend in with other programming, but it’s a bit odd.

Rhod is spicing up Next Lines by introducing a category theme each week, which is a nice idea, and works  better than replacing it with other, lesser rounds.

Overall: Fun way to start the series, even if it had a few moments of lulls. Rhod obviously proved his worth as host, though the runner with Gabby didn’t work as well as he planned. Matty had so much fun, both in doing intros with Noel and taking barbs from Rhod. Gabby and Roisin had a few good lines, and Prof, despite laughing up a storm in the early part, stuck to a quieter edit, like usual.

Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Matty
Best Runner: The sex-tent.

QI Watchdown: I6 (Inventive)

Five episodes in, and we’ve still yet to hit an episode below ‘great’. Tonight, we have a rather inventive pairing of Bill Bailey and Sean Lock, plus an assist from ventriloquist and scene-stealer from Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, Nina Conti, along with her friend Gran. I’m not sure how Conti’s stuff will translate to QI, but having Bill and Sean’s a nice enough start.

Observations right off the bat- Sean’s already there with his insincere ‘thank you’ right off the bat, and as this is his second-to-last QI episode ever, there’s probably a reason for the insincerity. Bill’s wearing a Naruto shirt. Wow.

Gran sounds a ton like Mrs. Doubtfire. As they demonstrate the ‘Nobody Knows’ card, Bill, patronizingly, asks if he should hold the card for her.

Bill: “There was a bloke the other day, went through a machine, and his whole body went through a tunnel the size of a CD. And…he survived.”
Stephen: “…what?”
Sean: “Was it Ronnie Corbett?”
(Man, if only Rob Brydon were here)
Bill, stifling laughter: “..yeah, that’d explain it…”

Stephen talks of the man who invented the parachute suit, and died while jumping from the Eiffel Tower.
Stephen: “He ripped a page from a book to see which way the wind was blowing-”
Bill: “Unfortunately, that was the instruction manual…”

There’s a nice discussion about putting Gran in the overhead compartment…and how she feels about that.
Sean: “I don’t know why you even go on the plane! Why don’t you just post yourself?”
Gran: “…too expensive, dear. I’m heavy.”
Nina: “I once lost her once, actually, on a plane…by an airline, of which, for legal reasons, i’m not supposed to name.”
Gran: “…Ryanair…”

Having Nina and Gran on is great, and they have very funny stuff, though their digressions are very independent, and it’s difficult for them to build off of other people. Sean and Bill, of course, have no trouble building off of them.

For a question about ventriloquism, Bill and Alan wind up with their own puppets, and try to say the phrase ‘pig in a poke’ (which Nina did so masterfully before). Bill rolls his over to Gran, trying (and failing) and ventriloquism.
Gran: “You’ve had a stroke, dear…”

It’s an amusing sequence, having everybody try ventriloquism. Sean doesn’t even try, he just doesn’t say anything, while moving the puppet around. Unlike the bug runner from last show, it doesn’t exactly take off, but it’s still amusing.

Even better, Bill tries pressing the buzzer with his puppet, is successful…and ends up breaking the thing. He just starts playing Hungry Hungry Hippos with the plastic pieces of the buzzer.

Gran, summing up Bill’s failed puppeteering attempt: “You know, the first rule of show-business is to make everything look easy…and this half-wit over here…”

Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 8.19.16 PM.pngStephen talks of a woman who used ventriloquism to protest to Anne Boleyn.
Gran: “…nice tits, too…”
Alan: “No, look at the bloke looking at her tits…”

Gran: “Nina is a ventriloquist, apparently…though I’ve yet to see evidence of that…”

There’s a semi-Mastermind-ish aspect to this one, sort of like Imbroglio, where Nina, for a while, talks about her specialized subject (ventriloquism, of course), sort of like Frank Skinner talking about George Formby, or Anneka Rice talking about her racing or whatever. Unlike Anneka Rice or whatever, Nina and Gran are pretty active, and still contribute a lot to the show, aside from the specialized subject material.

They show a picture of this ‘vent-haven’ place, (‘where dummies go to rest’)
Sean: “AAAAAAAAAIIIIIIIGGHHHHHH!”

Stephen asks Nina if ventriloquists get too close to their dummies and characters, and if Keith Harris ever went too far down
Nina: “Well, I can’t speak for him-”
Gran: “No, cause you’re not that good a ventriloquist…”

Stephen asks Sean if he had an imaginary friend when he was younger.
Sean: “:I’m not aware of it. They didn’t use to come around much…”

Stephen gives everyone inventions, and has them guess what they do. Bill’s is done with him specifically in mind.
Bill: “Is it a beard-measuring device?”
Stephen: “Well, I wouldn’t call your beard of quality…”

Stephen: “And what have you got there, Sean?”
Sean: “…’ts a BOTTLE, Stephen.”
Stephen: “And what d’you think it’s for?”
Sean: “…for putting stuff in.”
Stephen: “…okay, so NEXT, moving onto Nina…”

Nina get some sort of ‘suppository for Charlie McCarthy’ as hers, and hands it to Bill so he can unscrew it. Alan guesses it comes with preparation H, and he’s right.
Bill: “Wait, this has been up someone’s ass?”
He frantically drops the device.

GREAT MOMENTS IN PHRASING!
Stephen talks of a Policeman’s ‘lady-reviver’, a bit of smelling salt.
Stephen, explaining: “So when a lady would faint, in the street, the policeman would whip it out, and-”
He has to stop there, because the audience beats him to the punch.

Stephen asks a question with a convoluted sort of wind-up.
Bill: “Uhh…NOBODY KNOWS!”
Screen Shot 2017-06-19 at 8.51.10 PM.png
Stephen: “…he’s put up the card backwards.”
Bill: “oh…you CHEAPSKATE! You just put it on one side? Ya cheap…BASTARD!”
Alan: “Yeah, that’s THEIR fault…”

It’s nice when Stephen starts GI by saying ‘fingers on buzzers, those that are still working…”

Once again, Alan gets the Nobody Knows answer, though this time the question is something as ridiculous as ‘how did dinosaurs have sex?’

Overall: A cute little middle-of-the-road show to bring Series I back to earth a tad. There were some nice moments, Bill had some great lines, and the entire sequence of 3/4ths of the panel trying ventriloquism was inspired, but a lot of the show was more factual and less fun. Sean was quieter than he’d been in a while, mostly keeping to himself. Nina and Gran were a fantastic presence, having great lines and giving great knowledge, though they seemed to take up the show a bit too much.

MVP: Bill
Best Guest: Nina
Show Winner: Nina
Best QI Fact: the parachute suit guy.

Nevermind Watchdown: S6E9, or ‘How did I know that would please you?’

WE INTERRUPT THIS QI OVERLOAD TO BRING YOU THE LONG-AWAITED MISSING BUZZCOCKS EPISODE!

I swear, if there’s one thing that keeps me up at night, it’s the fact that out of all the Mark Lamarr NMTB episodes, there’s one that was lost to the online public, thanks to copyright laws, youtube takedowns, and just…rarity. And I’d gotten, thanks to the ‘LOST EPISODES’ spree recently, a great deal of my missing pieces posted…but not 6×09. Which, as I’m a completist, kinda stunk.

However, thanks to, as I’ve come to believe, the internet’s patron saint of Buzzcocks, antster1983, the lost episode fell into my hands. Before I head into Buzzcocks’ Last Crusade (aka the Rhod Gilbert season)…I figured I’d post this sucker up.

As it’s been tattooed in my brain for two years, the panel goes like this- Davina McCall and Junior Simpson on Phill’s team; DJ and electronic artist Chandrasonic and fading-memory Radio DJ Tommy Vance on Sean’s team. And this is back in Series 6, or the ill-fated ‘series 7’ that didn’t end up actually being Series 7.

Mark, doing Tommy’s standup: “Tommy was the first voice heard on Live Aid. Who could forget those moving words: “…BURGERS, HOT DOGS, FANTA…sorry, I’ve run out of onions…”

The odd part of this configuration is that Chandra is in position to RECIEVE intros on Sean’s team…which means Tommy Vance is expected to do intros. This will be fun.

On Motley Crue and the Beatles:
Sean: “Did one of Motley Crue try to kill George Harrison?”
[OOOOOH, TOPICAL JOKE!]
Mark, ever the smartass: “…he had a good stab at ‘im…”

Sean: “Is the connection burning records? Like, in America people started burning Beatles records when they said they were bigger than Jesus. Or…they burned Motley Crue records, you know, when they ran out of firewood…”
Tommy chuckles at this…
Sean: “…what’chu laughing at, Tommy, YOU LIKE THEM!”
Tommy: “I do…but I also like a nice fire…”

Sean: “Is it to do with Pamela? She’s dating the drummer for Motley Crue. And she got rid of her implants, because they were useless, and the Beatles-”
Mark: “HEY! TAKE THAT BACK! I’m not having that kinda talk on the show. Implants are never useless, ladies. They enhance a saggy breast…”
Sean: “They were a NUISANCE…”
Mark, still going: “COME TO PAPA!”

Tommy eventually says that it costs 4 grand for a breast operation, 2,000 pounds each.
Junior: “TWO THOUSAND POUNDS A TITTY?”
Phill, still to Tommy: “…what, a breast?”
Junior: “TWOOOOO THOUSAND? For ONE TITTY?”
Tommy: “Yeah…you can use two hands, so it’s a thousand each.”
Phill: “I could buy a couple capris for that! Obviously it wouldn’t get me in a bra…”
Mark: “…still look a tit in ’em…”

The reason I love Mark so much, is that when this digression happens, he doesn’t let it stop the show cold. He goes “We’re looking for the connection between Motley Crue and the Beatles. I know we went off on a little titty tangent there, but…”

Mark: “I’ll give you a clue, it has specifically to do with the bass players.”
Sean: “Oh, they’ve both shagged Pamela Anderson?”

Junior, reminding me how quick in the clutch he could be: “Is it a domestic violence type of thing, because Tommy Lee used to beat Pamela Anderson…and Yoko Ono used to sing to John…”

Sean: “Does Tommy Sixx live on the Mull of Kintyre?”
Phill: ‘Do they fly ’round in a JET…ooooh-ooooh…”
Mark: “I’m gonna have to tell you the answer because I’m getting quite angry…”

Davina says the connection between Geri Halliwell and Pavarotti is intense anal wind.
Sean: “Was that on an episode of Don’t Try This at Home?”
Davina: “Yeah, it’s not a bad idea for a challenge-”
Mark: “Try and blow a midget over with a fart?”

Junior: “Her first single was called ‘Look at Me’…and [Pavarotti’s] the only guy who’s visible from space.”

Phill: “I believe Geri’s had some sort of nose job or something. Pavarotti, liposuction, horribly wrong, the machine backfired…he got thirty pounds of Judy Chalmers”

Mark gives them a clue that it has something to do with political service.
Phill: “SHE’S in the UN, Pavarotti was invaded by BURMA!”

And, what kind of Mark Lamarr episode would this be without a Geri slam:
Mark: “Geri Halliwell was brought up as a Jehova’s witness. And although she doesn’t practice anymore, she still enjoys being knocked up on a Sunday morning.”
Phill laughs so hard at this he nearly chokes on whatever’s in his mug.

Chandra, like the rest of us, is bummed that he doesn’t get to do intros. Mark actually comes down and has him do any intro he wants…just so Mark can do the drumbeat or whatever. It’s actually a pretty cool moment. However, it’s made ridiculous by Phill, halfway through, singing Pavarotti-esque opera in the background.

I’ll give Tommy credit that he’s a ton less senile than he was in his Series 10 appearance, and he’s actually relatively coherent in Intros.

Sean, pointing to Tommy’s shirt: “I was actually there on my holidays last summer…”
Tommy, turning his shirt around: “Ah, but what about the back?”
Sean, taking this the wrong way: “…No, I never went THAT far…”

And then…halfway through intros, the Tommy I remember returns, with him not remembering how the song goes, barely remembering the name of it (from the card), and going “…can’t see through these damn glasses…”…through his SUNGLASSES. INDOORS.

Phill’s entire team is in sync tonight- all three of them dancing to Red Alert by Basement Jaxx is something that’d be gif-worthy in the modern era.

I missed Mark’s ID Parade name prattling so much. #6 in Sean’s is “Lord of the Ring…RINGS! SORRY!”

On the Baron Knights ID Parade, Sean: “Tommy, you know when they did that Smurf song? Why did they kidnap Papa Smurf, #5?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.21.25 PM.png

Sean: “#6 had a good CHRISTMAS!”
Mark: “…this is goin’ out in February, by the way…”
Sean: “…#6 had a good JANUARY!”

Tommy knows who it is, so he guesses: “#1 and #3, but I’m half blind in these glasses, so it could be anybody. It could be YOU!”, motioning to Sean.
Mark: “So you’re going for…SEAN…”
And sure enough, Sean goes up to the lineup with that…
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.24.53 PM.png

Mark: “Well, let’s find out if Sean is either Pete or Butch…well, certainly not Butch…”

As an added bonus, Phill’s team has to guess which one of the 5 is Carl Douglas, of Kung Fu Fighting fame, which is a big deal.

Mark: “Is it #1, Fast as Lighting…#2-
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.08 PM.png
Mark: “…a little bit frightening.”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.28.19 PM.png

Davina: “#2 looks so dark and mysterious, and when he smiles, it’s ‘AWWW…”
Phill: “You have to say #2’s cheer-him-up catchphrase, which is, as we all know…’a little bit frightening!”
Screen Shot 2017-05-25 at 10.31.08 PM.png

Phill: “…I’m just having a laugh. I just MET Carl Douglas last Thursday! It’s #3!”
Mark: “Yes, I’ve worked with Carl a few times, and he’s been on television quite regularly, BUT NONETHELESS…LET’S FIND OUT!”

Next Lines:
Mark: “J and D here, united”
Chandra: “…black and white here to show you how we…the…[to the audience] that’s one of ours, too…”
Mark: “Is this your resignation letter from the band?”

Overall: Not perfect, as it definitely fell off right after Sean’s team went for Intros, but still a fun episode. The panel was imbalanced, as I didn’t really get to know people, but maybe I say that because I’m used to new-NMTB, where everyone’s over-edited. Actually, the emphasis, when it wasn’t on Junior, was more on Phill and Sean. Davina, Chandra and Tommy all had nice moments, but not nearly enough of them. Junior was great, but had his moments of overexposure. Still a fun enough episode, with a ton of runners in Connected, Phill as Pavarotti, the entire Junior/Mark banter which was too funny to write, and the fact that it felt real, and it felt fun back in S6.

Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Junior
Best Runner: Junior’s roots.

(Thanks again to antster for the help with this episode. Truly appreciated it.)

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E13, or The Vegan’s on FIRE!

To quote tonight’s guest host, “I DID IT. *I* DID IT…[oh, sorry…]”

This is the last guest-hosted episode of Buzzcocks. After five series of it, countless classics, a few clunkers (looking at you, Westwood), and two Frankie Boyle episodes, the Guest Host era came to a close in 2013. I have gotten a ton out of this, proving that there didn’t need to be a host anchor to amount for a ton of great Buzzcocks moments. However…I am excited to see how Rhod Gilbert does in Series 28.

So, tonight’s Guest Host, the final one, is a guy I’m honestly mixed on. On one hand, Johnny Vegas is capable of being very funny, and capable of bringing out the best in people just by osmosis. On the other hand, I’ve never quite been a fan of him on NMTB. He’s just never won me over here. Tonight, he’s got the helm, and it’s the CHHRRRRRRIIIISTMAAAAAASSSS Show so it’ll at least be nice (I hope).

Of course, Johnny is lifted onto the set, dressed as a snowman, while Aled Jones’ Walking in the Air’ plays triumphantly. Can’t help but love an opening like that.

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.11.49 AM.pngAnd from here, he begins to yell the intros: “ON PHILL’S TEAM TANIIIGHT…”

The panel’s a nice bunch- Brian McFadden hasn’t been on since he kept repeatedly calling Mark Lamarr a duck. Sara Pascoe’s never been on Buzzcocks before, but tonight that all changes, and it’s about time. DJ Locksmith is an EDM DJ, and they were all the rage in 2013. Jessica Hynes hasn’t been on since the infamous ‘arm-wrestling’ episode with Simon. Hopefully she does better tonight.

Johnny, to start, has a series of ‘this-or-that’ Christmas questions that go from commonplace to bizarre pretty quickly.

I’m not writing down a ton of this, but it’s so wonderful, and it’s so insanely Johnny Vegas, going from bizarre and funny to emotional from one-second to another.

Johnny’s set-up is “How has Cliff Richard annoyed One Direction this Christmas?”
Sara: “Has he joined?”

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.31.34 AM.pngJohnny: “That looks like it was just removed from my ass…with a snowman doctor goin’ ‘it’s okay, they’re benign…”
Yeah,there is absolutely nothing quite like Johnny Vegas’ humor.

On the ID and Cliff mugs:
Johnny: “Cliff just wants to know, and I want the other four out me house before the police arrive…”
Phill: “There’s 5 of them.”
Johnny, channeling Stephen Fry: “Yeah, well, you’ve got to keep one in the basement, haven’t you?”

Noel, on his “Fleet of Cars” prop, which is just a big window pane: “Is this a fleet of cars? Because it just looks like the scene from Midnight Express…”
Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.41.53 AM.png

Noel: “This is like Week 1 of Marcel Marceau’s training cottage. “…and now without the glass…”

Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.44.41 AM.pngJessica: “…problem is I just feel like Lady Gaga…”
Locksmith: “Call me kinky, but I probably would…”

Johnny: ‘I’m gonna have to press you for an answer…”
Noel: “THE WINDOW!!!”
Johnny: “IT’S NOT A WINDOW, IT’S A FLEET’TA CAAAHS!”
Noel: “A FLEET OF CAAAAHS!”

Johnny, on the playback for When a Child is Born: “This is the point where me mum would drop a quiche and wet herself.”

Also, this image:
Screen Shot 2017-05-16 at 12.49.59 AM.png
Noel Fielding is the greatest.

After Sara steals both of Noel’s Intros
Noel: “The Vegan’s on FIRE! The red meat’s slowing us down, but the vegan’s on FIRE…”

Mid-standups, Johnny just randomly breaks into the Cheers theme song. I swear to god, nobody can write something this funny.

Johnny questions Phill’s ‘driving’ mime.
Phill: “I WAS PLEASURING *TWO*…*LORRY DRIVERS!*”

Johnny stops Phill and Brian’s 2nd intro, and suggests that Brian play him as bongos, as he literally lies down on top of the desk. Sure enough, Brian starts patting his chest for the percussion…which Johnny responds with ‘OW!’ noises.

(For the record…Sara Pascoe answered every single intro correctly tonight. I never thought she’d be THIS GOOD at this game. She’s like the Kim Newman of Buzzcocks.)

Johnny, on #2, aka Craig Phillips: ‘He’s got that Robbie Williams look to it. LET’S PEEL HIS FLESH OFF…AND LET WOMEN SKATE AROUND HIM…WHILE WE’VE GOT THE OPPORTUNITY!”

(For the record, the reason that DJ Locksmith hasn’t been very vocal this show is because I think everytime the camera’s done a wide shot of Noel’s panel, he’s been laughing hysterically. So if you’re wondering why Locksmith’s underedited…blame it on Johnny for being so damned funny tonight.

This season wouldn’t be complete without one more fuck-up. Johnny, right before next lines, flips the envelope of Next Lines Questions AND Answers to Phill’s team…and seconds later, an embarrassed producer has to VO in and go ‘no, you read them out…”
The whole panel just facepalms, giggling. Noel gets a huge kick out of it.

Johnny just goes on this ridiculous, slightly-drunken, semi-serious rant, which ends with him looking over at Phill and going “…you know, if you weren’t so honest, you could have won this…it was all there for the taking, and you kept sliding the envelope back like I was some bloke in a car park trying to offer you money to put me willy where it shouldn’t be…”

Johnny, finally getting to the Next Lines: “He had a broad face and a round little belly…”
Phill: “That’s why they let him HOST!”

Overall: As a Christmas show, a bit uneven, a bit uneventful…but goddamn if I didn’t laugh hard. The problem is that, with most Johnny Vegas episodes, the focus was more on him and less on everyone else, and the panel was kind of underedited, as they had to edit around Johnny’s shenanigans. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, as Johnny was friggin hysterical. It just wasn’t a great Buzzcocks episode, because there are people like DJ Locksmith, whose sole purpose in the edit was just dying at Johnny’s lines, and Brian McFadden, who at least didn’t annoy the host but came off as bland. At least Sara had some nice moments and a kickass Intros round, but Jessica didn’t do much. Still, a nice enough funny episode, even if it wasn’t very substantial.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Sara
Best Runner: …just Johnny Vegas existing, I guess.

SERIES 27 SUPERLATIVES!!!!

Guest Hosts, Ranked Best to Worst:
Russell Howard, Episode 2
Peter Andre, Episode 3
Warwick Davis, Episode 10
John Hannah, Episode 1
Michael Bolton, Episode 8
Eamonn Holmes, Episode 6
Johnny Vegas, Episode 13
Sara Cox, Episode 4
Jack Whitehall, Episode 9
Dizzee Rascal, Episode 11
Rizzle Kicks, Episode 7
Kristen Schaal, Episode 5

Best Episode: Episode 3, the Peter Andre episode, one I was dreading…but Peter managed to turn it around, not only with a willingness to play and make fun of himself, but with the immortal ‘Insania’ round, giving me some of my biggest belly-laughs of the season. Tony Law was his usual, insane self, and Scissor Sisters’ Ana Matronic was surprisingly amazing.
Second Best Episode: Episode 10, featuring Warwick Davis, an emphasis on music from cinema, and some of the best runner-based humor we’ve had since Mark Lamarr hosted. Other than ‘Squirrels Ate My Cake’, which…again, fantastic, there was Chris Ramsey giving his best Buzzcocks performance, some really nice hosting from Warwick, and a surprisingly funny tiebreak round.
Third Best Episode: Episode 2, with Russell Howard. I almost gave this to Episode 9, surprisingly the Jack Whitehall episode, but I could not forget Episode 2, especially considering Stacey Solomon’s animal impressions, Russell bagging on Lethal Bizzle (Hashtag Fannys), and the fact that Russell may have given the smoothest ‘audition’ of any guest host Buzzcocks had on in this era.
Worst Episode: Episode 5. Nothing got off the ground. The panel was comprised of three TV personalities that all knew each other…and David O’Doherty, who only knew host Kristen Schaal and didn’t have a great show. Kristen was loud, boorish, annoying, and wasn’t always great for the position. There were some nice moments, supplied by Rylan Clark and Noel calling James Arthur a koala, but on a strong season, this is the weak link.
Hardest-to-Watch Episode: Episode 7. I had to make a category for this one. Episode 7, while funny, and amusing in some pieces, cannot be watched without choosing a side in the debate over who wronged who. Did Rizzle Kicks annoy Huey Morgan to such a state that he couldn’t take it anymore? Or was Huey drunk, high, over the hill and grumpy, to the point where his ego couldn’t take these ‘kids’ bashing him in? No matter where you stand, it’s an ugly show.
Best Regular: Phill Jupitus, for keeping his boost of energy from last series going, dominating some episodes and returning to his active, jovial mood from Buzzcocks’ Golden Age.
Best Comedian Panelist: Seann Walsh, Episode 8. I nearly gave this to James Acaster for his performance in E1, but Seann had the bigger show, and bounced off of Michael Bolton with his bizarre, lion-esque humor. Plus, his ‘WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL, IT IS A BLENDER’ line still kills me. Honorable mentions go to Sara Pascoe, Alex Brooker, Paul Foot, Sarah Millican, Tony Law, Chris Ramsey, James Acaster.
Best Musician Panelist: Ana Matronic, Episode 3. Last season Mark Hoppus got this spot, for coming from a very serious, well-known group and absolutely defying my expectations by having a shit-ton of fun on the program. Ana Matronic did that arguably better, by delivering a nasty, but good-natured, dig at Peter Andre, as well as getting some of the best lines in the show and collaborating well with Phill in intros. I also considered Lethal Bizzle, Iggy Azalea, Conor Maynard, Jamie Cullum, Shaun Ryder, Shane Filan, Alfie Boe, Aston Merrygold.
Biggest Dartboard: Stacey Solomon, Episode 2. Like usual, people had their fun with Stacey, but Russell at least put her to good use with the ‘animal impressions’ runner.
Most Confused Panelist: Shaun Ryder, Episode 6. He seemed very strung-out, but as a member of the Happy Mondays, it’s part of the contract. He at least had a nice time, unlike my other option for this category (Huey Morgan).
Best Runner: Johnny Borrell dating Jack Whitehall’s sister, Episode 9. I loved this one because Jack got more and more irritated every time someone brought it up (I laugh at his initial, annoyed “shut up” every time). Plus, Alex, Noel and everyone get in on it, and the joke is on Jack for once. (To be fair, I almost put Stacey Solomon’s animal impressions here as well).

Next up…the LAST EVER SERIES OF BUZZCOCKS. PERMANENTLY hosted by a guy with a potato tattooed on his arm.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E11, or For the Record, I Don’t Write this shit, so..

The penultimate guest-hosted Buzzcocks…EVER. This one’s hosted by a POSITIVELY BONKERS RAPPER….I’m sorry about that pun…it’s Dizzee Rascal. I’m guessing he’ll have more of a Ne-Yo show than a Tinie Tempah show, but…we’ll have to see.

Tonight we’ve seen all-but-one of our guests before. Katherine Ryan’s back after a nice first go. Aston Merrygold, after bowing out due to sickness in the Whitehall show, finally comes back for this one. Jamie Cullum had a nice show back when David Tennant hosted. Foxes, pop singer and collaborator, is also on the bill.

Dizzee: “So, we begin with a round we’re calling…”
Clip: “BONKERS.”
Dizzee: [long sigh]

Jamie, on his stuffed panda prop: “This panda’s got really heavy legs…”
Phill: “That’s the thing about bamboo, goes straight to your feet…”

Jamie: “I mean, do any animals actually find humans sexy?”
Phill: “My labrador used to…”
Noel: ‘Yeah, I got humped by a, uh…”[pauses so the audience can laugh]”I think it was a greyhound. I was about 7.”

The whole first round, Jamie and Noel and everyone are talking about animals humping them, and Dizzee is just sitting there, watching…possibly forgetting he has to host the show. This may be what we’re in for, folks.

Katherine: “I know that Britney has a tour in Vegas- it’s not really a tour, she just plays in one place.”
Phill: “I bet she still gets lost.”

Once Dizzee sees that he has to read some standups on the autocue next, he has a Hugh Dennis-esque “oh, I forgot about this part” moment, and asks Jamie to help him with mood music, in response to how badly he fucks up the jokes. To be fair, the first one goes well.
Of course, afterwards he checks the camera and goes “yo, for the record, I don’t write this shit, so…”

Noel, trying to start conversation: “D’you have a train set, Foxy?”
Foxes: “Yeah, I did.”
Noel: “…you ending that answer there? ‘Yeah, I did. Moving on.”

I’ve noticed that so far, Dizzee is insanely laid back in his hosting techniques. He knows he’s just reading off an autocue, and just having a good time, not taking the whole thing seriously. To his credit, though, he’s smirking a bit as he reads off the next round, ‘JLS or JLNo”, which Aston does get a chuckle at.

Aston: “I actually technically know the right answers her-”
Dizzee: ‘You need to FALL BACK, PLAYA.”
Aston laughs for about 10 seconds here. You can even hear some Jupitus Giggling in the background. Yeah, even if he’s laid back, Dizzee’s still having a nice time.

There’s also a nice 30 second sequence where Dizzee cannot for the life of him say the word ‘contractually’. Aston just keeps laughing at this.
He eventually settles on: ‘…Aston’s been told he has to FUCKIN’ BACKFLIP EVERY TIME…”

Aston, of course, does one of his trademark backflips.
Noel, to Foxes: “D’you still want to do a cartwheel?”
Foxes: :I’ve gone off the idea.”
Noel: “What about a handstand, and I catch your legs like a weird PE teacher?”

They eventually agree on doing the inverse arrangement, which the audience applauds but Noel’s already going “NO! NO!”

Sure enough, Noel’s ENTIRE PANEL pushes him to take part in the stunt, with Jamie egging him on by playing on the piano. He’s still adamant about not doing it, which is hysterical.

HOWEVER…PHILL COMES BY, points to his lap, and gets him to do it…which fails miserably:
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.20 PM.png
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.36 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.44 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.26.56 PM.png

Noel: “I’ve broken both my knees.”
Jamie: “You could take that to Vegas…”
Noel: “I’ve gone blind in one eye…my cock’s loose in my pants…I’ve no idea what went on, then…I’ve got INTERNAL BLEEDING, DIZZEE. HELP ME!”
Phill: “YOU LANDED ON…*ME*!”

Dizzee, bringing the round to a close: “…well, the answer was Yes, ANYWAY…”

Dizzee, taking the prompter reading a bit too literally: “Now it’s time for the Intros round….hand over card.”
Phill: “THAT IS THE KIND OF HOSTING I LIKE!”

Annnd add Phill and Jamie’s rendition of Grandmaster Flash’s The Message to the list of all-time great Buzzcocks intros.

AND OF COURSE…Foxes and Noel’s 2nd Intro is, of course, Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal, which he just glares at them for, hoping they get it right.

In a very nice moment, after Phill guesses it, Dizzee offers to do some live in the studio, as Aston and Foxes give him a beat. He spits it off like it’s his job, and even throws in the sound-clip from earlier of ‘BONKERS’ just as a cherry on top.

Dizzee: “In 2009, I gave an interview criticizing the expense and inconvenience of the London 2012 Olympics…an opinion I held right up until the moment they asked me to perform…”
He has a nice chuckle here, even at his own expense.

Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 11.53.36 PM
Aston: “I LIKE #5…#5 looks like he could have a proper good time, like out on the town-”
Phill: “WHERE??? VICTORIAN LONDON?”

Foxes: “I feel like he’s seen the world.”
Phill: ‘Oh, he’s SEEN THINGS…”
Noel: ‘This round isn’t just ‘Whose Van Would You Get Inside?’…”

Overall: Imperfect, but still a fun watch. Dizzee wasn’t great at keeping the show going, but was still laid back and having fun, which I’ll accept. Panel was kinda down. Katherine wasn’t giving her best stuff tonight, Foxes was silent, and Jamie, while having a great night, didn’t do a ton of memorable work outside of the recurring piano. Aston had a nice night, but I don’t know if he was the best one. The stunt in the middle elevated this from being ho-hum.

Guest Host Rating: 7.5/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Jamie
Best runner: Bonkers clip.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E10, or Squirrels Ate My Cake

3 Guest Hosted Episodes remain, and this one’s being hosted by a film legend. Warwick Davis, who’s been in charge of more animatronic and small characters than you could possibly realize, as well as being the star of Life’s Too Short, is in the building. He’s a heck of a personality, so he’ll probably do well tonight, on the “MOVIE SPECIAL”.

Warwick has a nice intro- the announcer plays him in as ‘one of the most beloved characters of all time’, complete with ET music. Once the smoke clears, Warwick has this confused, almost betrayed expression. Once he gets to the desk, he asks “…did they just play in the ET music?” It works, as Warwick just sounds like David Mitchell, just deepened a bit.

The panel seems fit enough- Tom Fletcher from McFly is back, as well as occasionally incoherent comic Chris Ramsey. Also, TV presenter Emma Willis and West End actor and part time Jean Valjean, Alfie Boe.

As the captains have come in costume.
Phill: “Warwick, I’ve come as the Captain from Das Boot.”
Warwick: “…you look a bit like Bluto, from Popeye…”

Chris’ prop is a very small minibar.
Warwick: “Can I just ask why that fridge has been removed from my dressing room?”

After a tangent that leads to Chris suggesting the squirrels were diabetic by the end.
Noel: “Diabetic squirrels…another good band name…Punk band. ‘Yeah, we’re the diabetic squirrels, what’cha gon’ do about it?”
Phill: “THIS ONE’S CALLED ‘I SHIT SNICKERS’. ONE TWO THREE FOUR!”

Chris: “I reckon it’s the money thing, if it’s true.”
Alfie: “I think it’s the minibar…”
Noel: “Yeah? [to Chris] Dyou think it’s the minibar?”
Chris: “…Noo, because I just said I thought it was the money…DON’T USE YOUR JEDI MIND TRICKS ON ME…”
Noel, Alec Guinness impression: “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for…”
Warwick, even BETTER Alec Guinness impression: “These aren’t the SQUIRRELS you’re looking for.”

Of course, sure enough, they go with the minibar answer…and Chris’ money one ends up being right. He flips the minibar’s door shut in anger.

One of Phill’s answers for Keith Richards is ‘he got a bad sunburn’.
Phill: “In terms of the Rolling Stones, given that they’re so ‘ooh, don’t forget to put sunscreen on’, as they’re all like [DOWNS ALCOHOL AND SNIFFS COCAINE]”

The Intros round this week is…okay, a pretty great gimmick, to be honest. They’re all songs from films, and the person has to guess what movie they came from.

It’s even better when Phill and Tom’s version of Goldfinger is one of the better intros of the Guest Host era. EVEN NOEL, immediately after, goes “can I just say that that’s the best rendition I’ve ever heard on this show…”

Emma: “…[Phill,] your bit is making me think…Secret of My Success.”
Phill: “IS IT REALLY? [deep, camp voice] THEN IT WOULD BE DOING SO ERRONEOUSLY, MADAM.”

Warwick passes it over to Noel’s team
Noel: ‘Was it…The Squirrels Ate the Cake?”

Warwick, pre-Intros: “You should be really good at this, Alfie, as a singer…”
Chris: “…I notice ya didn’t say that to Tom…”

Alfie does a few big ‘DOOH- DOOH- DOOH’ drum noises…then has to stop and go ‘NOT EASTENDERS.” Yeah, he’s on the right show, I think..

Alfie, after an intro: “This is what I did to audition for the Les Mis movie…and I didn’t get it…”
Noel: “Who did?”
Alfie, matter-of-factly: “Hugh Jackman…”
Someone in the audience does a ‘WOO!’
Chris: “WHAT’DYOU DOING???”
Warwick: “DON’T ‘WOO’…LOOK WHO’S HERE!”
Noel: “That’s unacceptable…except if that was Hugh Jackman then…WHOOPING HIMSELF.”

Warwick: “You were quoted, Emma, in saying that you’d get naked for a million pounds.”
Noel: “Where’s the fake money [Chris] had earlier?”

Emma, inspecting the money: “Hold on…this is all fake. This is PAPER!”
Phill: “…at the end of the day, isn’t that what money is?”
Screen Shot 2017-05-14 at 11.14.50 PM.png

Warwick: “Kenny Loggins’ wife is a doctor, and they met while she was inspecting Kenny’s prospect. He was so smitten with her that, right then and there, he popped a ring on her finger.”
Chris, after a good 10 seconds of reaction: “I’d high-five you for that one…”
Warwick, deadpan: “Not too high.”

ID Parade:
Tom: “Look at #4, he’s swaying back and forth-”
Phill: “Of COURSE he is, he’s built like a redwood!”

Emma: “I think I’m feeling four…”
Phill, taking this the exact wrong way: “RRREEALLY?”
Warwick: “He’s REALLY swaying now…”

Once they have the real movie voiceover guy, they have him, sort of like the CinemaSins guy, say some random stuff.
Noel: ‘Can you say ‘Squirrels Ate My Cake’
#4: [breaks, then] “…SQUIRRELS…ATE MY CAKE.”
Funniest part of this is Noel takes a pause after ‘Squirrels’, forgetting the exact quote of the runner. I feel like he had to ask Chris or somebody what the line was.

Chris, on the Lineup of Jareths: “#4 looks like he’s had some of frontward prolapse…”
Warwick, likely as the cameras are re-setting: “OHHH…DON’T DO A CLOSE-UP OF IT!”

Chris admits, right after Warwick talks about playing some goblins in Labyrinth, that the only time he’s seen the movie, he slept through it.
Warwick: “EXCUSE ME…what have YOU done in your career? How many Hollywood movies have YOU appeared in?”
Chris: “None.”
Warwick: “…I rest my case.”

Warwick brings up a nice point, that #3 in the lineup, a little person, was actually Warwick’s own stunt double in Willow. Fantastic that they managed to get that in there.

Also, using the gimmick very nicely, all the Next Lines are from movie themes. Again, I don’t hate gimmicks and things like that if they actually make sense, and these ones work well, especially for Warwick Davis being the host.

I do applaud Tom’s Next Lines skills, though Emma’s read of ‘the Sound of MUUUUSIIIIIC’ does, in fact, put Phill off, as he stops the round to go ‘WHAT WAS THAT??’

Noel, being Noel, gives the entire next line from Flash Gordon, and even throws in a ‘GORDON’S ALIIIIVE!’

Warwick: “Watching, I keep waiting.”
Noel: “Squirrels ate my cake.”

Warwick: “This is the end.”
Chris: “This is the end, I’ve been in loads of Hollywood films and I never mention iiiiiit…”
Warwick: [spit take]

There is a tie, which leads to some impressively dramatic tiebreaker round music.
Phill, post music: “….FANCY A CURRY???”

The tiebreak round involves the guest voiceover guy reading out hints about an artist, complete with pre-recorded buzzers saying the captain’s voices.
Phill, after pressing his: “I have an erection.”
Red: “oh, man…”[breaks]

Red: “At a young age, I found I could sing like an angel and dance like the devil.”
Chris: “JESUS!”
Phill: ‘DANNY DYER!”

Overall: The patron saint of Buzzcocks episodes that gain momentum as they go on. At the beginning, squirrels jokes aside, it was a tough one. But slowly…traction built, and by ID Parade we had an insanely funny episode on our hands. It helped that Warwick Davis managed to be a ton of fun, as well as holding the panel tightly. The panel was strong- Chris Ramsey had the best day, Emma and Tom had a nice time, and Alfie, while a bit shy, did have some great moments. Just a solid, wonderful episode with lots of gags to keep me coming back.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10. Excellent job, Warwick!
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Chris
Best Runner: Squirrels ate my cake.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E09, or I Think You’ve had an Akabusi Attack.

Four episodes of Guest Hosted Buzzcocks to go, and we’re on a bit of a roll. Who’s up next?

UUUUUGGGGHHHHH! WHY DO THEY KEEP INVITING JACK WHITEHALL BACK???

Jack Whitehall has bungled hosting not one…but TWO NMTB episodes. Why? Because he subscribes to the Simon Amstell school of deliciously personal attacks, and is driving the show backwards rather than forwards. He’s also not funny, and he’s just not a great host. This will be his THIRD hosting gig. Let’s hope he’s made at least some improvement.

In terms of the panel, we’ve got The Last Leg’s Alex Brooker, Olympic legend Kriss Akabusi (in place of a preempted Aston Merrygold appearance), Razorlight’s Johnny Borrell, and pop singer Katy B.

Jack, in detailing the search for Kriss, said that the BBC was trying to find anyone around the studio with even the smallest, most tedious link to music, “comedians, presenters, Sugababes- UNTIL FINALLY”
That is actually a nice read…

Jack, starting the round: “Phill, Katy, and Aston Merrygold from JL…we should probably change that…[Kriss], you’re also probably not going to be able to do the bit at the end with the backflip…”

Jack: “I meant to, at this point, have a chat with Aston about JLS’ split…probably not gonna work, but let’s just try it with Kriss…”
Yeah, this is basically a Simon Amstell episode, though Jack is a bit funnier than he’s ever been, so I’ll give him that.

Of course, in Kriss’ hands, it succeeds in being a good bit- Kriss actually knows how to yes-and here, and confirms FOR Aston that JLS is gonna come back, ending the bit by saying ‘SEE YOU AT WEMBLEY!’. So now when Aston DOES come back on (what, next week?), he’s gonna have to denounce Kriss’ stuff.

Jack: “You ever use the JLS-branded condoms?”
Kriss: “…they’re quite small guys, ain’t they?”
Jack: “…not just quick on the track! I am…SO HAPPY Aston Merrygold is ill!”

Jack: “Kriss, you were wrong, because your team didn’t listen to you…”
Noel: “Is it now Kriss’ team?”
Phill: {switches places with Kriss]
Noel: “You know Kriss isn’t stopping at captain…you know he’s gonna be hosting soon…”

Jack, after fouling up a joke: “Gah, so much pressure now, because if I do get it wrong, now I just think Kriss will take my place…”
Then, Jack fouls up the joke again, causing the whole place to go wild.
Noel: “GET OUT OF THE CHAIR!”
Jack: “Kriss, come do the joke for me…”

They do the joke again, with Jack whispering the standup on the prompter into Kriss’ ear. Once he finishes the joke, he immediately gets it, and reacts accordingly.

After Kriss sits back in his own chair.
Phill: “BOOM! …Sorry, this seat’s got some secondary Akabusi on it as well…”

Noel, slowly realizing who one of the Guess Who options are: “…look at those big blue eyes…those Jesus-like eyes…I CAN’T! IT’S THE EYES OF MY NEMESIS! IT’S CHRIS MARTIN! I CAN’T LOOK AT THEM!”
Jack: “…stare a little bit longer…”
Noel: “I CAN’T! THE MEDIOCRITY MIGHT GET ME!”

Jack, to Noel: “You and me were on the same bill as Coldplay, and the whole night, you were avoiding him-”
Noel: “I didn’t avoid him. His roadies wanted to kill me!”
Johnny: “With cups of green tea?”

Jack, to Noel: “What would you sing to your baby?”
Noel: “BREAKIN’ THE LLLAW, BREAKIN’ THE LAAW…”
And he just keeps going, miming screaming into the baby and going mad.
Jack: “I think you’ve had an Akabusi attack…”

After Jack asks Johnny if he has plans to settle down, Alex interjects, saying that Johnny used to date Jack’s sister, all the while Jack’s trying to get him to shut up.
Alex: “I was reading your book on the toilet before…”
Jack: “Why are you talking about reading it on the toilet?”
Alex: “…well, it’s not quite good enough to take on Holiday, is it?”

This is pretty amazing, seeing not only Kriss upstaging Jack, but Alex tearing Jack a new one WHILE HE’S TRYING TO HOST THE SHOW. Maybe it’s because I hate Jack Whitehall, but I’m LOVING this show so far.

Jack makes his first snafu of the night, by revealing the answer to Phill and Katy’s first intro too soon. As the clip plays in-
Noel: “What’you doing? You’re supposed to throw it over…”
Jack: [collapses]
…he;s hosted the show twice before, HE SHOULD KNOW THIS.

He does actually throw it over, after the answer’s been given.
Jack: “Any ideas?”
Noel and Alex: “…errrrmmm…”

Kriss, not knowing: “I’m sorry…[buzzer noise]”
Phill: “…WRONG QUIZ!”

Jack makes his SECOND snafu of the night, giving Alex the point before he’s named the actual song. He says ‘Sister Sledge’, and Jack just reveals the song title. Man, it’s almost like Jack’s the worst guest host ever or something…

After Noel and Johnny don’t know how the 2nd intro goes…and then they bring over Kriss and he goes “oh,…I know the BAND…”
Alex: “I’m not too optimistic at this point…”

Then JACK comes over and all four of them have to do the intro together. As they get ready, Noel goes “we might have to take this group on tour…”

Jack: “Kriss, which of the lineup would you most like to boom.”
Kriss: “WHOOOOOAA…”
Jack: “NO NO NO NO NO! NO! KRISS HAS A WIFE! I mean like [Kriss hand motion] boom boom!”
Kriss, already past it: “No, I mean…”
Jack, still stuck on the audience: “No, YOU SICK BASTARDS, LOOK…KRISS AKABUSI IS ASEXUAL. HE DOESN’T DO THAT-”
Kriss: “I dunno about that, fella…”

Kriss: “Yeah, I like #2, she’s got the whole dancing action going on-”
Jack: “SHE’S STOOD STILL!”

WHITEHALL SNAFU #3:
Jack, Next Lines: “And oh, doesn’t matter how much we cried…if our eyes spat out the night…what i’ve done there, is read out BOTH lines of the song…so you’re gonna have to get the next one…”

Then, of course, Jack does 3 sister-related lines in a row to spite Johnny, like “Dance Little Sister” and “Sister don’t let go…”

Jack: “Sister don’t let go…”
Noel: “Just keep quiet, I can hear Jack coming up the-”
Jack: “SHUT UP!”

Overall: A surprisingly amazing NMTB. Even without Kriss Akabusi, this would still have been funny. Jack, while still not a great host, had more to work with, especially with his pal Kriss on the bill, and with Johnny having dated his sister. Alex had some of the best lines, Katy and Johnny were in great moods, but Kriss was having so much fun, allowed for some of the best moments, and saved this episode from being another crappy Jack Whitehall episode.

Guest Host Rating: 8/10. Slight upgrade.
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Kriss
Best Runner: Johnny and Jack’s sister.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E08, or WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL? IT IS A BLENDER.

Well, we need a nice boost of enthusiasm after last week’s good-but-traumatizing Rizzle Kicks show. So, let’s get….uh, Michael Bolton?

Yeah. On paper, Michael Bolton’s an odd choice. Yes, he did have a ton of hits in the 80’s and 90’s, but he was also one of the most uncool hitmakers of the time. However, in 2011…the Lonely Island came along with Jack Sparrow and instantly made him cool and funny again. So he’s probably a ton more self-aware, and this is probably gonna be a hella fun show.

Plus, we’ve got a pretty phenomenal panel on our hands- Carol Vorderman and Diana Vickers are on Phill’s side, while Seann Walsh and Westlife’s Shane Filan are with Noel. This has all the makings for a classic.

Annnd THIS is our opening image:
Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.08.11 PM.png

Note that the crowd goes kinda wild when Shane’s introclip comes out. Man, hope he doesn’t call anyone a duck like the last Westlife guy that was on…

Shane keeps making a big deal out of the decision to stand up at the key change of a song, which he credits to Simon Cowell.
Noel: “What else did he say? ‘I think you should open your mouths when you sing…”

Shane even teaches his entire panel to do the sexy-stand-up at key change, which vexes Seann because he tries concentrating, but sure enough:
Screen Shot 2017-05-11 at 5.14.51 PM.png

There’s also a really nice sequence where Michael teaches Seann how to stand on the mountain and ‘BE Michael Bolton’, which doesn’t exactly work because he’s Seann Walsh. Look, usually I frown upon the extraneous pre-quiz stuff, but…it’s funny! It’s working!

I do want to note that the Paul McCartney ‘Ever Present Past’ clip they show has been on before, because I remember Bill Bailey going “what’s he doing on one knee? No, no, Paul, don’t go down that road again…”

Sure enough, Shane talks about meeting Sir Paul
Shane: “It was actually on my honeymoon…”
Noel: “You got married to Paul McCartney?”

Michael says he’s ‘come close’ to meeting Sir Paul.
Noel: “Come close? Like someone went ‘HEY, COME AND MEET…oh, don’t bother…”

Michael: “If you’re wondering what a brazillian grasshopper looks like, it’s just like a normal grasshopper, only shaved.”
Must have been one of the randomly lethal jokes leftover from Eamonn’s show.

Michael’s reads are actually kind of wooden, but they do occasionally work, like saying ‘at the end of the round, Noel’s team have done nothing, they have scored nothing, they are worth nothing…”

Noel brings back his smartassery from the Peter Andre show for the Lightning Bolton round
Michael: “True or false-”
Noel: ‘FALSE!”

Michael’s at least having fun with these questions One of them is “I was the singing voice of Pocahontas in the Disney film-”
The audience starts laughing before he can even finish it, so he even cracks a smile.

Phill and Diana’s first intro sounds like a ton of weird beeping noises.
Seann: ‘Phill, that sounds like dial-up internet…”
Phill: ‘I’m sending a fax!”

Michael hands it over to Noel’s team.
Seann: “Oh, god, it’s Too Much Lube, by Anal Danger.”
The audience takes 5 to recover.
Michael: “…it’s, uh…it’s not Anal Danger.”
Phill: “OHHHH, WHO HAD MONEY ON BOLTON SAYING *THAT* TONIGHT? *I* WANNA HEAR HIM SINGING IT!”
Michael, melodically: “It’s NOOOT ANAL DANNGEERR…”

My geekiness from James Acaster’s episode is coming back here, as I can only name Phill and Diana’s second intro as ‘the song from Kingsman’.

And sometimes, Michael’s completely dry delivery makes the standups even better, like his one for KC and the Sunshine Band.
“They’re so disco, even their testicles are mirrored…”

Michael: “Noel and Shane”
Noel, faintly: “HEL-LO…”

After Noel and Shane’s first intro, Seann, who immediately knows it, gives a pretty perfect impression of Ricky Wilson, with the ‘ARMS BE-HIND DE BACK-AAAHH’, flailing around thusly.

Shane: “Can you hum the first line, Michael?”
Michael: “I don’t think there’ll be any humming on this show…”
Noel: “Not even for your estranged son?”

Even funnier, Michael reads the card as ‘Kaiser Chefs’, which the audience cracks up at.
Noel, Ricky Wilson voice: “ANNNND I LOVE MY CHOPPING BOARD!”
Seann: ‘WHAT’S THAT COMING OVER THE HILL, IT IS A BLENDER!”
Noel, even as people applaud Seann: “…wrong band…”

Noel and Shane give Seann a Michael Bolton intro next, which he…completely misreads, and adds a random rap stanza to, as Shane just looks on, confusedly.

Michael says the Kaiser Chiefs are named after a football club. “That’s nothing. My full name is Michael Bolton Wanderers.”
After a nice round of applause for that, he worriedly checks the camera and goes “…I DON’T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS.”

Diana, ID Parade: “I know #4- if not, I’ve met him before…”
Phill: “Number four, FOR SHAME…”

Diana, after going through several different options: “Just pick one…I’m so indecisive…”
Phill: “REALLY???”

Michael, as the round is going long: “Guys, I actually have a plane I have to catch…”
Noel: “I’m sure it’s your own plane…you’re getting no trip fee from us…”

Next Lines
Michael: “Feel your hands inside my soul.”
Phill: “…feel a BAKER’S…SAUSAGE ROLL…”
Michael: [cracks]
Phill: “Feel me cock, I’ll feel your hole…”
Michael: “I wish I’d written that one…”
Phill: “That’s a beauty!”

Michael: “Let me lick you up and down, til you say stop!”
Seann: “ANAL DANGER!”

Michael: “Take your heart and make it sing.”
Noel: “…or use your mouth, it’s up to you…”

Overall: Slightly disappointing, but still a nice episode. Phill’s team was underedited, but Diana had some nice moments of looniness towards the end. Seann, Shane and Noel were the stars of the night, with Shane having some great moments and not being afraid to have fun, and Seann being hysterical as usual. Michael’s reads were dry, and he occasionally went into the Ne-Yo category of ‘confused foreigner’, but it was a pretty nice show.

Guest Host Rating: 9/10
Best Regular: Noel
Best Guest: Seann
Best Runner: Anal Danger.

Nevermind Watchdown: S27E07, or Cavanagh, man…now that’s some dangerous music..

So…it’s come to this.

Tonight’s episode is the last big controversial important episode in the series’ run. Rizzle Kicks, who were amusing enough on their last time on, are HOSTING. On the panel tonight are Paul Foot, finally back again, American Southern-Alt-Rock singer Lissie, Irish model and presenter Laura Whitmore, and…yeah…Huey Morgan, from the Fun-Loving Criminals. This is going to be very, very interesting. Because Huey is about to have the absolute worst day of his life. Let’s watch together.

Among the implications of Phill’s Content Advisory round: Tina Turner sang “I don’t really wanna fuck no more”; and, most hilariously, “BOB THE BUILDER- CAN HE FUCK IT?”

Paul asks if Scissor Sisters are a successful group: “I thought they should have been censored for being excessively camp.”

There’s this big bit Paul does about lesbians getting shot out of cannons, that leads to the Cern collider smashing lesbians together, that’s so bizarre that I’m not gonna write it down verbatim.

THE FIRST SIGN OF CONFLICT
Huey talks about not getting kicked off of a plane: “Even in really bad shape, like my hair was messed up and-”
Jordan: “Hair messed up?”
Huey, pointing to his short hair: ‘My hair GROWS…”

And then:
Jordan: “A Green Day is a term for a day that’s spent by doing nothing but smoking marijuana.”
Harley: “For example, the Fun Lovin Criminals are in the middle of a Green DECADE.”
Huey, after a glare: “…son, we’re in our SECOND decade…”

Among the implications in Noel’s round: Marc Cohn allegedly wrote ‘Wanking in Memphis’; Katy Perry’s ‘You’re Gonna Fuck Me Raw’, which does work a ton better if you’re British; and a random wang in Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ video.

Noel: “Paul, d’you know any of these people?”
Paul: “I’ve always wondered this…is Olivia Newton John related to Elton John?”
Noel: “Yeah, he’s her auntie…”

Paul says he’s never seen Grease.
Noel: “Well, we’ll have to grab some snacks and watch Grease…”
Harley: “Can we come?”
Paul: “….no.”
Harley: “discrimination…”
Jordan: “WHAT?”
Noel, after the laughter passes: “Sorry, Rizzle Kicks…no lesbians…”

Lissie, summing up the entire post Mark Lamarr era of Buzzcocks: “Like I said, I feel like I know what the answer is, but it doesn’t seem like that’s the point of the show, so…”

Laura, pre-intros: “I just wanna say that this is my favorite round, and I always get mad when people don’t get the intros because they’re really easy…and now I’m shitting myself.”

Again, at this point, Huey seems to be in a fine mood, and he and Phill do a nice rendition of Foster the People’s Pumped Up Kicks.

Laura and Lissie share a nice moment.
Laura: “Lot of stress, isn’t it?”
Lissie: “I have to do it in a moment, so I feel you…”

Now I think the monotony kicks in- Huey just lumbers over towards Rizzle Kicks and points to them as Phill and Huey do their intro- he’s not pleased, because it’s just about them.

Paul, trying to guess: “Lots of songs sound like sex and love, but that didn’t sound like it. Sounded more like…….’Let’s Mend that Dove-Cot.”
Harley: “The Dove-Cot?”
Paul: “Yeah, where the doves go. The home of the doves.”
Lissie: “What, like a little bed that it lays on?”
Paul: “They would have a bed in there, obviously…of course, they’ve got beds, they’ve got teas, they’ve even got a Corby trouser press- THAT’S HARDLY THE POINT, LOVE!”

Paul, still going: “It’s named after where the doves live.”
Jordan: “Like a dove cottage?”
Paul: “Dove-cottaging is a different thing…”

Lissie: “This one I may or may not remember how it goes…”
Paul: “Would it help if i did a bit with you?”

Sure enough, Paul and Lissie do it for Noel, who already knows it. Paul just keeps making weird noises and such, which cracks up Lissie.

Paul wonders aloud why #1 in the ID Parade doesn’t have shoelaces.
Huey: “Maybe the producers thought it’d be a suicide risk. I understand why…now…at this point in the fuckin’ show, but…”

Pre-Next Lines, Huey’s still in an okay enough mood, even after Paul’s ID Parade shenangians, which…I’m not gonna write down all of, but like last time it was pretty fucking great. Huey’s not, like angry. So what happens next is kind of a shock.

The first time Huey gets one of his own lines…he sighs, looks up at the ceiling, and recites it. Kind of like his first time on, but less funny.

Jordan: “JUNGLE IS MASSIVE! JUNGLE IS MASSIVE!”
Huey: “…I don’t fuckin’ know…”
Phill: “So big that thousands of animals can hide within it…”

After the umpteenth Huey lyric, which he delivers even more pissed off.
Jordan: “y’alright?”
Huey: “i’m fine, I just thought you guys would do something different for a change…not give me my own lyrics over and over…”
Jordan has to explain that this is what they do on the show, for a laugh- to his credit, he’s got an awful nice way of talking him down.
Huey: “I’ve been on the show, like, NINE TIMES…”

Then, right after Rizzle Kicks announce the answer for Cavanagh, Huey smashes his mug on the ground and yells ‘WHO’S THAT??”, freaking the fuck out of Noel’s panel, mildly startling Phill, and causing a few folks in the audience to  go ‘EYYY!’

After trying, and failing, to calm down Huey, Jordan actually has a good line here: “…Cavanagh, man, that’s some dangerous music…”

The rest of how Jordan responds, by just mocking Huey, throwing in the ‘you won’t like me when I’m angry’, and sticking the shard of mug in his hair, is basically just baiting him. I mean, on one hand, Huey may not have been in the right to get agitated over Next Lines, but on the other…Jordan was kind of being an asshole.

Harley: “Noel’s team, you need 5 points to win, but I’d maybe suggest…not winning…”

Of course, then Paul and Noel spend their entire Next Lines round pushing over Noel’s mug, just in parody.

Jordan, trying to wrap the show in a bow: “Tonights winners- well, tonight’s real winner…is music.”
This gets no response.
Jordan: “…no, alright TONIGHT’S WINNERS-”
Phill absolutely loses it here. Huey would, but he’s still pissed.

Huey storms off before Jordan and Harley get a chance to fully sign off. Phill’s just sitting there, kinda traumatized. And that’s the note we end the bloody show, man.

Overall: Good show, had great moments…but I can’t completely like it without thinking about the Huey incident- it kind of overshadows what was already a ‘good enough’ show. Paul had some nice moments, Lissie and Laura played well, and Huey had some good lines pre-smash, but…that last bit was hard to watch. Then it becomes a blame game, on whether it was Huey’s mental state or Rizzle Kicks being fucking assholes to him that caused it. Look, Rizzle Kicks didn’t have the greatest day, but I’m gonna bring them down a peg or two for how they handled that. A guy has an anxiety attack on your show, and what do you do? You make fun of him? Regardless of who caused the incident, the way Rizzle Kicks handled it was horrible, and I may have to side with Huey because of it, even if I’m not 100% agreeing with his tactics either. Just a strange show, one I’m not sure how to think of.

Guest Host Rating: 7/10
Best Regular: Phill
Best Guest: Paul
Best Runner: Paul and the lesbians.